Gas-liquid fermentation, or gas fermentation, as it is sometimes called, can be a very versatile unit operation. It can be used to make fuels (aka biofuels), beverages, drugs, industrial enzymes, foods, yeast, monomers, etc. Fermentation is usually carried out in a bioreactor, which may be agitated or simply a bubble column or airlift. In the past, the gas of choice was usually air, as the microorganisms used were aerobic. Today, the field of microbiology has developed many specialized organisms that consume other gasses. Some of the more popular ones under study include carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen, methane and other hydrocarbons. Most fermentations are mass transfer limited, so mass transfer design, as well as heat transfer, are keys to successful operation. In the ideal, broth-specific mass transfer correlations should be developed for each broth and each gas. If such are not available but some data are available for air/broth systems, the air/water data can be used to estimate the design, after adjusting for gas solubility and diffusivity. For example, compared to oxygen in air, carbon dioxide is much more soluble but has a lower diffusion coefficient. Hydrogen, on the other hand, is much less soluble but has a higher diffusion coefficient.
Large renewable energy and biochemical consulting firms certainly have experts in biotechnologies, as well as the more common areas like bio and renewable fuels, biomass and biomass power, feedstocks, biomaterials, and biochemicals. These larger groups will also have expertise in other technologies like agitation systems, anaerobic digestion, beverage fermentation, bio-oil extraction, bioreactors, carbon capture, carbon storage, carbonization, catalysis, cellulosic ethanol, cleantech, combined heat and power, direct combustion, enzyme technologies, fermentation, Fischer-Tropsch, gasification, genetic engineering, hydrothermal, nanotechnology, organosynthesis, power generation, pyrolysis, renewable technology due diligence, synthetic biology, thermochemical conversion, torrefaction, water treatment, and waste management.
With over 150 consultants worldwide, Lee Enterprises Consulting has the diverse experts and geographical reach to assist in virtually any bioeconomy project. Our highly qualified teams bring a unique integration of technical, scientific, regulatory and hands on experience to any project. Look at our experts and the services we provide. Most of our experts are also available to advise and serve as expert witnesses in bioeconomy litigation matters. For the larger projects, we specialize in putting together full service, interdisciplinary teams with one point of contact. See video about LEC here. Call us at 1+ (501) 833-8511 or email us for more information.